->''"Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot...\\
But the Grinch, who lived just North of Whoville, did NOT!\\
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!\\
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.\\
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.\\
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.\\
But I think that the most likely reason of all\\
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small."''

A classic 1957 children's book written and illustrated by Creator/DrSeuss, telling the story of a mean-spirited, cave-dwelling creature called TheGrinch who hates Christmas. He proceeds to pilfer all the Christmas paraphernalia from the perky folks living in Whoville in an effort to, well, steal Christmas. Although he succeeds, the Whos happily sing their big Christmas song anyway. Realizing the TrueMeaningOfChristmas, the Grinch has a [[HeelFaceTurn change of heart,]] and returns all the loot as the Whos cheerfully welcome him into their community.

What? You didn't know the ending? Well, you should have. ItWasHisSled, after all. (Ba-dum-chh!)

[[HowTheCharacterStoleChristmas This plot]] has become an oft-recycled StockParody.

In 1966 the story [[WesternAnimation/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas was adapted]] into a very popular television ChristmasSpecial by animator Creator/ChuckJones. In 1998 it became a [[TheMusical stage musical]] that played Broadway in holiday engagements over 2006-07. In 2000, they made a live-action [[Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas feature film]] starring Creator/JimCarrey as a LargeHam version of the title character. Creator/IlluminationEntertainment is confirmed to release their own [[AllCGICartoon computer-animated]] version of this tale in late 2018, with Creator/BenedictCumberbatch in the title role.

!! Includes wonderful, ''awful'' examples of:

* AnAesop: "Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
* AffectionateGestureToTheHead: The Grinch pats Cindy Lou Who on the head before he gives her a drink and sends her back to bed.
* AssInALionSkin: The Grinch dresses his dog, Max, as a reindeer.
* BadSanta: The Grinch disguises himself as one.
* CheshireCatGrin: The Grinch's face breaks into one of these when he first hits on his scheme to impersonate Santa.
* ChildrenAreInnocent
* ChristmasCarolers: The one thing the Grinch hates most of all is when all the Whos down in Whoville gather together, and start caroling around the Christmas tree. This is carried over into the [[WesternAnimation/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas animated adaptation]] as well as the [[Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas live action film adaptation]], the latter of which includes a song on the subject by Music/BenFolds called, "Lonely Christmas Eve."
* ConsummateLiar: Implied by the narrator's line of: "But you know that old Grinch was so smart and so slick, that he thought up a lie and he thought it up quick." The animated special makes the validity of this claim more ambiguous, though.
* DisproportionateRetribution: The Grinch's only motivation for ruining the holiday is being disturbed by the noises of the Christmas celebration.
* DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas
* EvilOldFolks: The Grinch is implied to be at least 53 years old when he decided to steal christmas.
* ExcitedShowTitle: The title is ''How the Grinch Stole Christmas!'', with the exclamation point.
* {{Expy}}: The Grinch is a [[LighterAndSofter very,]] ''[[AntiVillain very]]'' [[MagnificentBastard loose]] one of [[Literature/{{Beowulf}} Grendel.]]
* FreudianExcuse: {{Averted}}; the narration specifically tells us "please don't ask why" the Grinch hates Christmas, because "no one quite knows the reason." (TheMovie, on the other hand, goes into great detail about it....)
* GrimUpNorth: The Grinch lives "just north of Whoville," and his lair is pretty icy (although that may just be because it's winter.)
* TheGrinch: TropeNamer
* GrumpyOldMan: Seeing as he's "put up with it now" for 53 years, as he claims, he seems to fit.
* HeelFaceTurn: The Grinch, at the end. That's why he's the Trope-Image.
* HowTheCharacterStoleChristmas: TropeNamer and TropeMaker; the story is about a character so upset by the "noise" of Christmas that he tries to ruin it for everyone, but then rescues it when he finally understands the "true meaning of Christmas".
* IntangibleTheft: {{Averted|Trope}} when the Grinch tries to steal Christmas by taking away all the material trappings of the holiday, and finds the ''spirit'' of Christmas remains intact.
* LostInImitation: The book was black-and-white with occasional red for emphasis. It was the animated version that made the Grinch green.
* {{Neologism}}: Like "scrooge," the word "grinch" has entered the language as a synonym for a stingy, mean-spirited person, particularly one who [[TheGrinch hates Christmas]], but unlike Scrooge who simply expresses his contempt, a grinch is one who actively attempts to ruin it for everyone.
* NonHumanSidekick: Max the Dog.
* PaperThinDisguise:
** This ugly cave creature puts on a red coat and Santa hat. Boom! He automatically looks "just like Saint Nick." The only person who actually sees him is a two-year-old girl.
** The Grinch ties a single antler to a dog with ''bright red'' thread to create a "reindeer."
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The Grinch is shown with these.
* SantaClausmas
* SavingChristmas: Inverted; in fact, the inversion of this trope is essentially the whole premise of the story. However, it's then played straight when the Grinch ends up Saving Christmas at the end.
* ShrunkenOrgan: The Grinch's heart. Inverted later.
* TheStrengthOfTenMen: Technically, The Strength Of Twelve Grinches [[spoiler:when the Grinch lifts his sled over his head]].
* TrueMeaningOfChristmas: Seeing [[spoiler:the Whos still celebrating without their decorations and presents]] causes the Grinch to have an epiphany: "Maybe Christmas, perhaps, doesn't come from a store... maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more..." (In this case, the true meaning of Christmas seems to be thankfulness for friends, neighbors, and family.)
* UpToEleven: Inverted in the beginning as the Grinch's heart is two sizes smaller than what a normal one should be. Played straight By the end, as it's not only grown to a normal size, but ''one size farther!''
* VillainProtagonist: The Grinch, up until the end.
* XanatosSpeedChess: The Grinch disguising Max as a reindeer was an improvisation on the Grinch's part because he couldn't find any reindeer (and the narration implied that he did a lot of searching for reindeer before coming to that conclusion.)